I was on the way home from a motorcycling adventure on the peninsula of Izu when hunger struck. Of course I wanted ramen, but the busy road from Atami to the expressway back to Tokyo is daunting. Sure, there are lots of places to get a bite to eat, but they all cater to people on their way home. People who need to eat and have no choice. Tourists.
I saw ramen and stopped. Something in the back of my mind told me to just keep driving. Only a couple hours left on my ride until I would arrive at my doorstep.
When I sat down, something more towards the front of my mind told me to get out. This shop was massive, and completely empty. But the ramen topped with an entire ise ebi, Japanese spiny lobster, looked worthy of a spot on this site. So I forked out the whopping 1800 yen for this specialty of the area.
Looks ok, and the lobster was delicious, but the ramen was garbage. I don't even want to dignify it with an analysis. It goes up there with the ramen I had at the sumo stadium cafeteria and Tokyo Big Site convention hall.
As always, stay away from ramen out in the countryside without a little research. Have I ever had an awesome bowl by randomly stopping off in the middle of nowhere? I can't think of any. Sure, good ramen can be found, but every time it was recommended by a friend, colleague, or crazy Japanese television show.